Tag Archives: McDonald

Twitter IPO is Prompting Changes for Users


By: Marsha Friedman

About two months ago, our lead social media strategist at EMSI Public Relations started noticing interesting changes involving the Twitter accounts we manage for clients.

Tools were suddenly disabled. Twitter’s technical support, which hadn’t been good, improved.

So, when news broke on Sept. 24 that Twitter had already formally taken steps toward going public back in mid-July, Jeni Hinojosa wasn’t surprised.

“The changes appear designed to make Twitter more appealing to investors when the initial public offering is finally made,” Jeni says.

“In some ways, they’re also improving the experience for users. But in other ways, some users will be disappointed.’’

Overall, Jeni says, Twitter will likely remain one of the most effective social media platforms for connecting with both individuals and large corporations. That’s because it’s less personal than, say, Facebook, and – this is the biggie – it’s quick and easy to have a conversation with posts of140 characters or less.

What are some of the changes Jeni has seen on Twitter and how might they affect you? She shares four:

• No more “automatic follow-backs” means the size of your following will grow more slowly. Some applications, such as HootSuite and ManageFlitter, allowed Twitter users to set up their accounts to automatically become a follower of anyone who first followed them. That allowed audiences to quickly swell – but it also removed human oversight. The result: Some of your followers, and some accounts you followed, would be fake, inactive or otherwise non-genuine connections.

“I believe Twitter’s shutting down the ways huge audiences of fakes can grow so that they can be properly valued for the IPO,” Jeni says.

While that’s generally good for users, people who want to build a large following quickly may be disappointed. One such group is authors trying to get literary agents or book deals, she says.

“Agents and publishers want authors who have a strong base of potential fans, and one way to demonstrate that is to get big followings on social media,” Jeni says. “Authors may be unhappy that their following grows more slowly, but it’s better in the long run – it’s not hard to tell when someone has a mostly fake following.”

• You can no longer remove fake or unwanted followers en masse. Twitter enforces limits on how many accounts you can proactively follow, so it’s important to periodically clear out the fakes, inactive accounts and other unhelpful followers.

SocialOomph and Manage Flitter allowed users to detect and delete these followers in large bunches, which saved time, Jeni says.

“That function is no longer available,” she says. “Now, you have to go through your followers one by one to delete them.”

• Improved technical support – in some ways. Before the recent changes, if you ran into a problem with your Twitter account, you went to a “help” web page, filled out a form describing the problem, and submitted it. Then you had to watch your email for a confirmation and reply to the confirmation within 48 hours in order for your “case” to move forward.

“While that pesky process still exists, the ‘help’ page now offers troubleshooting, which makes it easier to fix some problems,” Jeni says.

The downside? You’re forced to click through multiple steps and take certain actions before Twitter agrees that you have a problem and allows you to send a request for support.

The help page is

• More advertisements. As Facebook did when it went public, Twitter is now offering users the option to pay for their posts to achieve more visibility. So now, you may find a post from an account that you don’t follow appearing at the top of your news feed.

“Most recently, I’ve been getting posts about McDonald’s new Mighty Wings,” Jeni says. “It’s mildly annoying if it’s something you have no interest in, but it can also get confusing. You may see it and think, ‘Did I follow McDonald’s?’ and check to see whether you did or not, especially if you’re close to your limit on followers.”



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The Top 5 Most Successful Promotional Campaigns Of All Time

tom-keene-editor-at-large-for-bloomberg-news-and-host-of-bloomberg-surveillanceAdvertising has one central goal: to either sell a product, or remain memorable in one’s mind. The industry itself has become a blossoming business, and many ads have captivated us over the decades. Some remain more striking than others, however. Provided by Ad Authority, here is a list of the five most successful ads of all time.

1. “Think Small” by Doyle Dane Bernbach

Across the ages, every company has measured the success of its advertising campaign against the Think Small campaign. Designed by Bernbach, Volkswagen hired the designer to introduce the Beetle to American audiences. The German auto company was competing against other American vehicles more popular in the U.S., so VW knew they had to develop a thoughtful, strategic plan. The Think Small campaign aimed to connect with audiences, and indeed, VW ads have forever since captivated television audiences.

2. “The Pause That Refreshes” by D’Arcy Co.

Though Coca Cola had virtually no trouble selling Coke during the summer, winter months were stagnant. In an effort to boots seasonal sales, D’Arcy Co. created “Thirst Knows No Season,” and it worked very well. More Coke was sold during the winter than it was during summer months. After a time, however, Coca-Cola realized the best way to increase profits was to provide people a break from their hustle-bustle lives with Coca-Cola. Sales plunged upward yet again, and Coca-Cola sealed its place in advertising history.

3. “The Marlboro Man” by Leo Burnett Co.

In 1949, Burnett was inspired by an ad in Life magazine to advertise the company’s products using masculinity. With nothing more than a cowboy smoking a cigarette, the Marlboro Man campaign was invented. It is still considered to be one of the most brilliant strokes of all time. While it stood the test of time, the company ran into issues with lung cancer and regulations on smoking.

4. “Just Do It” by Wieden & Kennedy

In the late 1970s, Reebok sold far better than Nike’s line of products. In the late 80’s, Nike and WK executives designed the “Just Do It” phrase. Nike connected itself with humorous, intellectual, and made workout clothes cool to wear when one wasn’t being active. The effort certainly worked – Nike’s market share shot from 18 percent – 43 percent, with over $9.2 billion in 1998.

5. “You Deserve a Break Today” by Needham, Harper & Steers

In the early 1970’s, McDonald’s hired NHS to attract various audiences with a sing-and-dance routine. The musicians sang the song, and afterward, the jingle stuck throughout history. Even now, consumers can see the reference line “You deserve a break today.”

These captivating ads have stuck in the minds of consumers for decades. Their memorable images, quirky jingles, and excellent campaign ideas have proved not only lucrative, but also key to the public’s opinion of these companies. Indeed, without these promotional ads, these companies might not be the advertising giants they are today.

Sally writes for Fluid Branding the promotional products specialist. Fluid Branding have thousands of promotional products in stock from promotional USB to umbrellas.



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The Five Most Famous Rivals in Advertising History

Print and television advertising sometimes has little to do with a company’s product. Popular ad campaigns need to do little more than paint one brand as sexier and younger than another to gain traction among consumers. Every industry has its share of advertising rivals. From small town car dealerships or local sandwich shops to global powerhouse brands, there is no battle too large or too small for a healthy ad war. Read our list below for some of the most epic campaigns in the fight for consumer loyalty.

Pepsi vs Coke

Generally labeled the “cola wars,” this famous rivalry has tried to influence the taste buds of caffeine lovers around the globe. Who knew that a fizzy, syrupy-sweet concoction could spawn such a bitter war? This rivalry was born over one hundred years ago, and it still rages today. One defining moment in this ad war was the 1975 Pepsi ad campaign, “The Pepsi Challenge,” which prompted Coca-Cola to embark on their failed New Coke venture. Pepsi has kept their image young and exciting with a host of celebrity endorsements, and their “Pepsi Generation” slogan. Coke has tended toward more family-friendly and global themes. In 2011, Pepsi famously co-opted Coke’s beloved polar bears for a fun ad of their own.

Audi vs BMW

The battle between these German motor corporations has sparked ad wars that brought Subaru and Bentley into the mix. The highlight of this rivalry is the 2006 “Car of the Year” ads. This battle was tipped off by BMW’s campaign that congratulated Audi for winning the South African Car of the Year 2006. The ad was signed “From the Winner of the Car of the Year 2006.” A veritable tennis match of rival ads followed this playfully antagonistic campaign.

Apple vs Microsoft

Apple entered the world of television advertising with a bang in the form of their famous “1984” commercial. In an attempt to gain ground in the personal computer market, the company launched their successful “I’m a PC” ad campaign in 2008. The spots featured a boring, middle-aged square (as the Microsoft PC) juxtaposed against the hip, fresh face of the Apple brand. Microsoft fought back with a similar commercial featuring one of their own employees, along with a series of “Laptop Hunter” commercials in which consumers were given cash to choose the better computer. Needless to say, they chose Microsoft.

McDonald’s vs Burger King

The battle for America’s burger of choice goes back decades, as these two monoliths have been fighting it out as far back as most consumers can remember. McDonald’s family-themed advertising has most recently been countered by Burger King commercials that feature edgy humor and more adult interests, including pop stars and celebrities like David Beckham and Mary J. Blige. It seems their advertising dollars are not yet giving them the edge, though, since McDonald’s continues to dominate the market.

Ford vs Chevrolet

These American auto-makers wage constant war for the title of consumer favorite in their popular truck lines. A defining incident occurred in a Chevy 2012 Super Bowl ad that featured a Silverado driving through the ruins of the predicted Mayan apocalypse. Ford’s attorneys immediately followed with an angry letter to GM management. However, they were told that there would be no Chevy apology until “the end of the world”.

Featured images:

Kate Simmons is a fresh graduate and occasional blogger currently working for a company specializing in outdoor banners. She is mostly interested in topics related to advertising, business and education.



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Mexican Labor in California: can ya even still tuck your own baby in at night?

As much as we would like to bitch and moan at the fact that they’re “taking our jobs,” The undeniable truth is that we would be up a fecal creek without a paddle without our neighbors from the south.  I am not talking about having to order a McDonald’s double double in Spanish, or possibly saying “leche” instead of milk, I am talking about the backbone of the “AmericanService industry.  When was the last time you had an all white crew clean your office?

We just spent a long weekend with our relatives from Chicago. Brother-in-law who is an investment banker, with a great deal of knowledge about the workings of life itself, issued the following observation from a Chicago perspective:

Not only are they willing to do some of the things that we are not, they are actually more acclimated to some of the conditions that we are.  Can you imagine a gringo now days working on a roof at 120° with a tar mop, or a nail gun? We just had our roof completely replaced on an 8000 square-foot triplex, by a “American” contractor. The work was amazing, and the direction did come from Ryan Saber, but I guarantee that not one gringo lifted a hammer. Job well done, but if the truth be known, the actual work was done by the Latin crew.  The skill in acumen of these people has long transcended the ability to take our lettuce and strawberries.  I went on a sport fishing trip over the weekend, and guess what nationality the kid was who is taking care of all of the tackle in managing that none of our lines got crossed?

Of course, when the neighbor had to have four 100 foot palm trees removed from her property, a feat that was accomplished with amazing skill and precision, guess who was called again.  After the cleanup, guess who again was called to install the new landscaping.  As I sat on the porch watching this deficient machine in action (in the company of the two Mexican people that clean my house for me) I was again struck with the fact that it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a white boy bending over with a pick his hand.

What reminded me to post this blog is the following: after putting in an excruciating seven-hour day at my laptop preparing social media profiles and redesigning websites while watching last night’s football game on TiVo, I was relaxing on my front porch by 5 o’clock enjoying an adult beverage when a delivery truck arrived with the neighbors washer and dryer. Although slightly annoyed by the idling diesel and it’s combatant fumes which were interrupting the solitude of my egregiously exhausting day, I stopped to take notice. These guys showed up and performed an absolutely amazing job. It would’ve taken we gringos an hour to do what they did in about five minutes if we have had sense to do it.

Not only did they cut all of the boxes and drop the washer and dryer amazingly skillfully, they had the sense to put all of the attachments i.e. hoses and wires onto the appliances before they even bothered to wield them into the house.

This is not to mention the hundreds and thousands of quote “professional people” that happen to be of Hispanic descent.  The Dr. that I visited an emergency room last night, my Dentist and my Atty.  are but a few that come to mind.

I guess what I’m saying is “since we’re neighbors let’s be friends.” I grow tired of my “patriotic” friends complaining about other people who were not only willing to do things that we are not, but do them far better than we would be able to even if we were willing.

We as a country have lots of things to work out; including welfare, social Security, education, and (frankly) language skills… but the bottom line is that we welcome them into our country every day.  It might be skillful to realize that we do have  things to work out, and to get on with doing that instead of watching Fox news to find reasons to fear and hate.

Both of my children attended Adalante Spanish immersion school. I had a chance to see firsthand how many families were working three jobs, commuting literally hundreds of miles in some cases, and doing everything they could to better their families and contribute to their communities.

I can understand how some “every day working Joe’s” might feel that they are being treated unfairly, and have some resentment about “social benefits for illegal’s.” (I wont even go into the argument of whether they have just as much right to be here as we do). What I really can’t understand, is how some bloated trust fund politician that has never had a real job in their life could have the audacity to challenge the right of an oppressed people to come to America for refuge, and to work hard to make a living for there families, largely doing work that we cannot and are not willing to do any more.


What ever happened to …

“Give me your tired , your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free… ”

Did that have an expiration date that I was unaware of?

Muchas gracias a mis amigos que trabajan duro!


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Slow and Steady Wins the Race; a Realistic Approach to Internet Marketing

OK we all know the story of the tortoise and the hare.  Everybody wants to get rich quick, and instant gratification has been the name of the game since thehippies were smoking pot and eating acid at Haight-Ashbury. This is especially true in internet marketing.  How many schemes have you seen where you can “make $5000 a month from home with a third grade education and a laptop.”  No typing skeels required! Although few fall for that kind of hype, there is a general tone that I feel to be dangerous:  this is a really easy way to make a decent living without really having to work all that hard.

Most successful people will tell you the secret to their “overnight success” is just plain hard work: 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.  Marketing in today’s environment is no different.  My mentor and instructor at USF Jay Berkowitz, is one of the hardest working guys I know.  He does a free webinar every week, countless public speaking engagements, teaches courses, and still has time to run a successful business.  He must never sleep.

99% of my clients who fail, do so for one reason and one reason alone:  they quit.  The ROI they thought would come in from and integrated internet marketing campaign didn’t show results in the first month.  They sent out an email campaign once and got almost no feedback other than a few people accusing them of spamming, so they quit.

The key to a successful campaign is in the longevity.  After you set up all your social media profiles, after you have syndicated your publications, after you have turned your website into a call to action and optimized it so it can be found on the web, after you have restated your value proposition so many times that your cat has it memorized, then the tough work begins.  That, unfortunately is when most people give up.  They think that they have done so much work they deserve some sort of reward – NOW!

It doesn’t work that way.  Look at my WordPress blog:

I started about 20 months ago at square zero.  I was ripe with new training and wanted to take my internet marketing to the next level, so I gathered all my blogging notes from over the years and jumped into it.  471 posts later (I do have a little secret) I now have had over 25,000 views, 1300 follower, and yes, a decent business.  I work on it a few hours a week, sometimes scheduling a week’s worth of blogs at a time, but I keep at it.  One of the best ways to keep track of everything is to create a “content schedule” and stick to it. There is nothing secret about the secret to success.  If you don’t have the time or infrastructure to do this  there are scores of people out there like Bay Integrated Marketing that will either do it for you, or teach you how to do it yourself.  The important part is that it gets done.

Just like any other program, “It works if you work it!”


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KFC: The Trend Setter?

It was only a matter of time until fast food chains started offering healthy options.  The general public needed to be able to have a choice about whether they wanted to eat fried, high calorie meals or slightly healthier choices.  Obesity is a major problem in the United States and as American fast food restaurants continue to spread all over the world, a growing problem in other countries.  Kentucky Fried Chicken, rebranded as simply KFC, is waffling back and forth about moving away from its fried roots to offer healthier options in its restaurants.

Over the past five years, KFC has struggled to successful identify a stable, dominant advertising strategy to guide its menu and other business decisions.  The company has specifically changed its mind about whether or not to offer grilled chicken and whether or not to make its advertising efforts promote this new product exclusively.  KFC is a brand that has been built on a simple recipe of frying chicken in oil in a traditional southern custom.  Therefore, promoting grilled chicken goes against everything their primary consumer base expects.

In 2011, their newly appointed “Chief Chicken Officer” Aaron Person decided that this change was inevitable and that KFC would still offer and promote its grilled chicken menu items.  If KFC or Person did not think this was a good idea, KFC could have been left behind in the fast food industry.  Grilled chicken, healthy wraps and salads can be found at virtually every fast food restaurant nowadays; from McDonalds to Wendy’s these items are commonplace.  Many consumers are consciously making more careful health decisions, including what they eat.  Consequently, Person thought that KFC did not have a choice in this case.

KFC is the number one chicken restaurant in the United States.  This decision to offer more grilled items may have also been influenced by the moves of its key competitors.  Both Chick-Fil-A and Popeye ‘s offer healthier meal options, especially for children.  This is important because kid’s eating habits for the rest of their lives are usually formed during their early years.  Since there has been this increased emphasis on eating healthy while still eating at “on the run” restaurants, parents are most likely to choose places that offer grilled and other meals that are good for one’s health.

The switch to adding more grilled items to KFC’s menu items was controversial.  However, in the long run, KFC customers support the decision and KFC will acknowledge that they made the right decision for the future of the company and its patrons.

John Phillips is a student at Virginia Tech who loves KFC! Thanks to a high metabolism (good genetics never hurt, right?) he’s able to have a fair bit of fast food and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. For customer service numbers for companies around the United Kingdom, check out his website.


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What’s Your USP? Discover How to Set Your Business Apart


Businesses must determine their unique selling proposition (USP) to develop a brand image and competitive advantage through effective  web design. The USP helps to drive sales and through other channels of a business. The USP should be apparent on the business’s website to meet the criteria for unique and compelling content. Set your business apart from the competition by establishing your USP through effective business web design.

Successful Businesses with Compelling USPs

Many major companies developed a compelling USP that customers recognise. For instance, FedEx guarantees packages will reach their destinations within 24 hours. This is an excellent USP that delineates the company from most of its competition. While there are some other companies also promise the same services, FedEx has woven this unique selling proposition into their brand image. Now, customers recognise their company for this service.

Domino’s Pizza promised to deliver hot pizza in 30 minutes or less. Customers came to appreciate and expect this type of service. Now, numerous companies offer this service. Domino’s continually reinvents itself to attract customers. As it stands, when customers view the Domino’s Pizza logo or read the name, one of the first things they think of is hot pizza delivery in 30 minutes or less.

Burger King differentiates itself from McDonald’s by letting its customers build their burger or sandwich their way. While McDonald’s discourages special orders, Burger King relies on fresh ingredients that customers can pick and choose. “Have it you way” is Burger King’s unique selling point.

What is Your Business’s Unique Selling Point?

After reviewing the aforementioned business’s USPs, what is your business’s USP. How do you lure customers from your competition? Aside from price, what attracts your customers to your business? All business owners should identify this point to remain competitive.

For instance, some dentists have added numerous additions to their offices to relax and calm patients during what may be an unpleasant experience. Some dentists have their dental chairs facing floor to ceiling windows facing a wooded area or another view to provide a more relaxing experience. The dentist may offer sugar free treats and refreshments to help alleviate the stress of the event.

How to Establish Your USP

Perform a Competitive Analysis

Determine what your competition does well and what they do poorly. Then, determine how you can improve upon your competition’s processes to differentiate your company when compared to the competition. Define your niche market and focus on streamlining your business practices.

Examine what you currently do to set yourself apart from the competition. If you are a consultant that works with Fortune 100 companies exclusively, this would be a point of delineation. Perhaps you are a jeweller with a designer on the premises.

Perform a Consumer Needs Analysis

Identify the frustrations of the consumers that you serve. Social networking tools are excellent starting points to begin forums to discuss consumer frustrations. Use the comments to improve business practices and develop products that address the frustrations.

Guarantee Your Products

Businesses that offer a guarantee will attract more customers, because they have less to lose. If you offer a guarantee, the customers would be more likely to buy.

Use Specific Instead of Generalities

For instance, Baskin-Robbins may include that they offer 31 flavours instead of saying that they offer multiple flavours. Specific flavours offer a distinguishing factor from the competition.

Under Promise. Over Perform

Offer less than you can actually deliver. When your company delivers more, your customers will be pleasantly surprised. Your company undermines its USP when it cannot deliver what the company promises to offer.

Effective business websites can help promote those involved in a variety of different business fields, from a racehorse trainer, exhibition stand provider, manufacturer right through to a therapist or tradesman.


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